Lenin speaking at Petrograd. Photo: Modified from Getty Images Lenin speaking at Petrograd. Photo: Modified from Getty Images

We need to talk about the Russian Revolution now more than ever, argues Vladimir Unkovski-Korica

Donald Trump’s reactionary agenda has polarised societies the world over, stoking new fears of war abroad, and attacks on trade unions at home. The right across the world feels emboldened in setting a racist and sexist agenda.

Just look at Theresa May’s rush to imitate Trump with her policies on refugees.

The attempt to turn the clock back a hundred years has provoked a massive backlash. We now need a broad and radical unity to fight Trump, but we also need strategy and tactics.

We can learn a lot from previous struggles. This is why the Revolution: Russia 1917 – One Hundred Years On event matters so much.

The Russian Revolution saw a mass of people unite to overthrow a backward and bigoted tyrant. Many revolutions before and after it did the same.

But the Russian Revolution turned into something more. Within a few months, it ushered in the world’s first workers’ government, implementing socialist policies.

Bolshevik theory and practice in 1917 can serve as a guide for us too. Bringing people from the movements to our event can help them see that their energies can be channelled not just into protest but also changing society.

If you haven’t, book for the 25 February event online. Phone your contacts in the movements locally and get them to come with you. Share an advert on FB and tell your friends you are going. They will get a chance to discuss with leading campaigners, and scholars of revolution.

This will help us direct the movements when hard arguments come up. How should we deal with divisions in the movements? What do we do in periods between protests?

It seems clear now that a revolutionary strand needs to emerge in British politics, that can promote the argument that fundamental change comes from below. 

We can’t move forward if we don’t understand our past.

Event: Revolution – Russia 1917: One Hundred Years on


25 Feb, Rich Mix London

With Tariq Ali, Paul Le Blanc, Lindsey German, Lucia Pradella and many more.

Book now

Vladimir Unkovski-Korica

Vladimir Unkovski-Korica is a member of Marks21 in Serbia and a supporter of Counterfire. He is on the editorial board of LeftEast and teaches at the University of Glasgow.